September 10th – World Suicide Prevention Day

Word origin from Latin, ‘Suus’ means ‘one’s own’ + ‘caedare’ means ‘to withdraw’, ‘to stop’ or ‘go’. Later English diction reinterpreted as ‘Oneself’ + ‘to kill’.

In Sanskrit, Swa means Self, Aaghat means Injury.

History of Language reveals that it has committed suicide many times to reinvent or find a new Meaning for itself. I am also reminded of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, book by Viktor Frankl. Essential point in this book is- Humans need a sense of ‘Meaning’ or ‘Purpose’ for their Existential Journey. If that Meaning is not found at all (or is found then lost), the motivation to survive, strive and thrive becomes feeble (weak).

In Japanese system, Sui is one of the five elements and represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Within each one of us, we have this Dual Instincts: Eros (turn into a form) and Thanatos (turn to formless).

Is Suicide just an intentional or unintentional act of Self Injury or Physical destruction?

Suicide (Intentional) is an impulse to withdraw, to stop or disappear from the form (persona) that I have in this society and the world. When meaning for existence is lost, one feels like stopping. Sometimes, it is a purposeful statement (note) to someone, to society or to world that they are wrong. An impulse to avenge! Existential angst to convey?

Suicide (Unintentional) can occur in a state of mind being disoriented (effect of alcohol and drugs), disillusioned (heartbreak, loss, and shock), or Fear of Shame (unable to tolerate loss of face). These are unplanned acts.

Suicide (Psychological) occurs with deep seated Guilt. Guilt about failing Self. Psyche of this persona carries the burden of losing the purpose of Life, questioning the Self Image (Swaroop), sense of emptiness within, unsure and unclear of one’s motivations in the Scheme of the World (Role Confusion). In this state, we see our Persona as betraying own Self, and existence as a burden to the world. Severe Guilt has a disintegrating impact on Self and must always be addressed and resolved appropriately.

What should I do when I feel Suicidal?

Do not brush it aside even if it was momentary. Look out and find a person you already trust. Think how to communicate and discuss with confidentiality. If you feel vulnerable in opening to family or friends or peers, look for a professional (psychiatrist or counselor or psychotherapist) or your family doctor. Suicide helpline can be an immediate resource for getting guided on where to go and what to do next.

What should I do when I know someone who is Suicidal?

Do not confront or show anger immediately. If you are comfortable in asking the person to share his Thoughts, do it. Listen, do not make it an opportunity to preach. Hold your words if you feel like blurting, “I told you so” or “I knew this will happen”. Explore by asking, “What can we do to help with these thoughts or feelings?” “Who do you think is the safe person to talk to?” Encourage and guide the person to available resources, without embarrassing or bypassing the privacy.

*Suicidal impulse with or without pre-existing mental illness, is a risk. The Risk needs to be assessed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *